I am strong.
I am powerful.
I am opinionated.
I am a woman.
I am not a feminist.
I am not a marching-wearingblack-signholding woman.
Sometimes I just feel unsettled.
I don’t know how else to explain it.
There is something in my spirit that just doesn’t sit right when I see or hear certain things.
I guess it’s discernment, and I like to think that I am being aware.
That I am being alert.
That I am paying attention to life around me and not just jumping on bandwagons based on my feelings.
Because that’s the other part of me.
I am very passionate.
That spills into every part of who I am.
I love hard.
I work hard.
I think hard.
Watching what has been going on around me when it comes to “movements”, marches, signs and rants…
It has just left me feeling unsettled.
And I couldn’t really put my finger on why.
I’m not against people believing in something.
I’m not against people standing up for what’s right.
I’m not against power or movements in general!
So why was I feeling so unsettled?
This week, it hit me.
Obviously, everything we deal with in life has a root issue.
There is a “why”.
There is a reason people do things and there is something pushing and driving all of us.
When I started seeing that people were going to be wearing black to the Golden Globes, I started to have that unsettled feeling again.
This is the thought that came to me.
If I am such a strong and powerful woman, why do I have to tell everyone that I am such a strong and powerful woman?
Can’t I just show people I’m strong and powerful by actually being strong and powerful?
And what does it actually mean to be strong and powerful?
I suppose people have different views, but when I looked up the definition for “strong woman”, this is what I found:
Being a strong woman means loving yourself when the rest of society says you’re too big or too skinny or too dark or too tall or too short or too much or too little. … It means defining your own strength, instead of adhering to a set of standards society has decided women must follow in order to be considered strong.
And there it was.
In black and white.
It means defining your own strength.
That is why I was feeling unsettled.
That is why all of these marches and causes and rants have me feeling something in the pit of my stomach.
It is certainly not to say that everyone wearing black or going to marches is trying to define their own strength.
But the general feeling from these acts is one of trying to define your own strength.
Do you know what defines me?
God’s view of me.
Do you know what set of standards I adhere to?
Not society, not “my own truth”, not men and not women.
How can there even be such a thing as “your own truth”?
I definitely got that unsettled feeling when I saw this quote of Oprah’s circulating
“What I know for sure is speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
She also said “The way to choose happiness is to follow what is right and real and the truth for you.”
Speaking your truth?
Following what is right and real and the truth..for you?
What was Larry Nassar’s truth?
If we are all to speak and live to follow our own truth, I’m guessing that he was doing exactly what Oprah recommends.
Follow what is right and real for you!
Apparently, sexually abusing girls for 30 years was right for him.
If we are living by our own truth, who are we to judge?
See, I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that what that man did was wrong based, not on my pain for the girls who suffered (which is great) and not on my frustration with a system that let it happen for so long (which is despicable) but on the basis of actual truth.
Truth that does not change.
Truth that doesn’t respect one person over another.
That truth is the word of God.
And God’s Word says that that was wrong.
So I can’t base my life on my own truth, and I also realized that one other aspect making me feel so unsettled about all of this was what I believe the root of all of this is:
It’s prideful to have to tell everyone how amazing I am.
It’s prideful to make sure everyone around me knows that my pain? My suffering, or my people’s suffering? Is much greater than yours.
And sometimes, doing so can make other people feel bad.
I started out thinking about Tom Brady.
Bear with me if you hate football, or hate the patriots.
Tom Brady is an amazing athlete.
He is probably the best quarterback ever, and the way people see that and know it?
They watch him play.
They don’t watch him holding signs saying that he’s the GOAT.
They don’t watch him doing press conferences, blog posts and writing articles about how talented he is.
He just plays.
People know he’s great because he acts great.
But then I wanted to take it a step further.
That’s kind of a silly example because it’s just a football player.
So I looked a little deeper into Corrie ten Boom’s life.
If you don’t know about her, she helped many Jews escape the holocaust but was captured and brought to a concentration camp because of it.
The tortures she went through are heart breaking and her suffering is painful to read about.
If someone had a “right” to fight for the way she was treated, along with so many others, it would be her.
She could have started marches to show that she was a woman and she was strong and she fought to keep herself alive.
She could have gone on rants that proved that society didn’t define her, that she defined her own strength.
But she didn’t.
And instead of going on speaking tours to “empower women” or prove how amazing she was, or teach other people to live their own truth..
She was quoted as saying this:
It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability that counts.
She brought it back to God.
Do you know what is actually more difficult than being loud and pushy and domineering?
Being humble. And quiet. And loving.
That is harder. That takes more self control.
Especially when you are a strong, independent woman!
That’s what is so unsettling for me with all of this.
There is often pride, not humility.
There is arrogance, not meekness.
There is noise, not peace.
And that is why I don’t march.
It’s not because I don’t believe that I have power, it’s just that I understand where my power comes from.
I feel like these marches are not only saying “women are equal to men”…I feel like these marches (based on the speeches I hear during them) are saying “women are better than men.”
I feel the same with all the other kinds of marches.
It’s one group saying that they are better than, saying that their pain matters more, that their suffering is greater than yours, that they are more valuable.
And that is something I can not stand behind.
Listen, I struggle with my pride enough on my own.
I struggle with sin, I struggle with pain, I could hashtag metoo along with millions of others.
But my focus?
My focus can not be on the pain, the suffering, the past, the pride, the comparison.
My focus has to be on my Jesus.
It has to be on living to bring glory to HIM, not to bring glory to myself, or my people group.
It has to be on living to please HIM, not living to please myself!
And I’m afraid we are all being so deceived by the cunning craftiness of an enemy whose biggest struggle is pride.
The enemy who wins when we focus on anything other than our purpose in life…to bring glory to the God who made us.
So yes, be passionate.
But please, be humble.
Be quiet when you want to speak.
Be loving when you want to argue.
Be gentle when you want to make other people learn a lesson.
Remember who you are.
Remember whose you are.
Remember that showing people you are strong means a lot more than telling people you are strong.
And remember that vengeance belongs to God.
He will repay, and he doesn’t need us to do it.
Just keep being strong.